Third week of September 1914.
BEF Report to War OfficeÂ 23rd September 1914
Due to the fact that both the Belgians collapsed to the left of us and to the right of us the French 6th Army were thrown back as well, the BEF was in a difficult position. With bravery and in coordination with the battered Belgium forces a new line of defence had to be formed. After some consideration this line was formed from Montreuil (Belgium Army) and the BEF positioned at the line Hesdin – Arras.
During the last few days lots of german prisoners were made, but we must not forget the casualties on our side. Railhead at Amiens, HQ is moved to Grandvillers.
Team Control Gloss
The BEF made a spectacular fighting withdrawal from the position in the map above. They managed to break contact with the enemy (inflicting casualties on the Germans without taking any themselves). They fell back towards the newly arrived IV Corps which had concentrated at ARRAS. The German 2nd Army (shown above at CAMBRAI) attacked towards ARRAS and captured it (because the British had given the same fighting withdrawal orders to all their forces). Because the Germans didn’t immediately follow up the forward elements of the BEF they formed a line from ARRAS through BETHUNE to ST OMER rather than retiring the entire distance ordered (this was so that they weren’t too far out of contact with the French).